Growing up in the small Village of Ashcroft, British Columbia around the age of 10, my interest was solely in sketching, then pretty much came to a halt around the end of high school as I was preparing to enter the world of the Canadian Military in which I recently retired from after a full, and exciting 24 1/2 year career at the rank of Sergeant, Yes, coincidentally I sort of followed in Bob Ross’s footsteps... who would of known? but it wasn’t until my retirement in 2016 from the Forces, that i would become very intrigued with the famous pop icon, Bob Ross, and his teaching methods which produced gorgeous masterpieces in very little time.
Let’s also not forget his calming and soothing demeanour which alone, can entrap anyone willing to watch and listen.
It was during this time that I purchased my first dollar store paint brush and canvas, not having any idea what I was really doing, other than watching and trying to mimick the great Bob Ross through his episodes on UTube.
All I knew was that I wanted to paint, and deep within, I already felt that I could! Hence the famous quote by Bob Ross himself, “Anyone Can Paint”. I then made my way to Smyrna Beach Florida, to the Bob Ross Art Gallery and School, becoming a certified instructor.
This I believe, was my calling, and now passion!... and I hope to make it yours 😁
This painting technique started around the 16th century and is very specific, as it starts off with a slick canvas, than a firm and dry
oil paint that is applied layer upon layer.
You may have heard the phrase, “Wet on Wet”, or Alla Prima (Direct Painting).
This technique allows one to have a complete and finished painting on the same day.
After watching my first episode of Bob Ross on, “The Joy of Painting“ and producing my very own first painting following his specific technique, I quickly realized that this was something I wanted to pursue further which then became a passion of mine and now into a business so I can pass on this wonderful gift to others, in and around my area that would like to experience and benefit from this unique way of painting thus coming out with a finished work of art in only hours.
Bob Ross, born in Florida on October 29, 1942, discovered oil painting while he was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1960s. He studied the "wet-on-wet" technique, which allowed him to produce complete paintings in less than an hour. He then became an instructor himself, eventually teaching a TV audience of millions on the PBS show The Joy of Painting.
Bob Ross, television's famous painting instructor, was born Robert Norman Ross in Daytona, Florida, on October 29, 1942. He was raised in Orlando, Florida. After dropping out of school in the ninth grade, Ross served in the U.S. Air Force. During his service, he took his first painting lesson at an Anchorage, Alaska United Service Organizations club. From that point on, he was "hooked," a term he would use frequently during his years as a painting instructor.
After returning from the Air Force, Ross attended various art schools until he learned the technique of "wet-on-wet" from William Alexander (later his bitter rival), where oil paints are applied directly on top of one another to produce complete paintings (mostly landscapes) in less than an hour. Ross taught wet-on-wet to several friends and colleagues, and in the early 1980s, he was given his own show on PBS based on the technique.
Ross's instructional program, The Joy of Painting, premiered in 1983 on PBS, where it would run for more than a decade and attract millions of viewers. As a TV painting instructor, Ross became known for his light humor and gentle demeanor, as well as his ability to complete a painting in 30 minutes. The Joy of Painting would eventually be carried by more than 275 stations, spawning an empire that would include videos, how-to books, art supplies and certified Bob Ross instructors.
The Joy of Painting was canceled in 1994 so that Ross could focus on his health; the famous TV instructor and host had been diagnosed with lymphoma around that same time.
Ross died from lymphoma at the age of 52, on July 4, 1995, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The majority of his original oil paintings were donated to charities or to PBS stations. Today, Ross remains one of the best-known and highest-paid American painters. His legacy lives on through a number of facets, including a fan-based Twitter pageof more than 67,000 followers.
In ninth grade, Ross dropped out of high school, and at 18 he enlisted in the Air Force. Based in Alaska, he took his first painting class in Anchorage, and was "hooked" immediately — but it would be awhile before art became his full-time gig. It was 20 years before he left service. He said "the job requires you to be a mean, tough, person. And I was fed up with it." Talk about a total 180 — after his military days, Ross essentially made a career out of never being mean or raising his voice again.
After his Air Force days, Ross devoted himself to a career teaching art lessons — a pursuit that didn't leave him so flush in the beginning. So he permed his hair and let it grow to save money on haircuts. Eventually he grew to dislike the look, but it was such a part of his brand, that he kept it up — and even wore a wig to maintain his frizz when he was treated for cancer.
As a teen, while working as a carpenter with his father, his left index finger was a casualty of the job. But, since he held the palette with his left hand to paint, you need to look closely to spot it.
In an interview with Five Thirty Eight, Annette Kowalski, Ross's business partner, revealed that while Ross loved painting the Alaskan landscape, he never wanted any signs of people in his artwork. (Though eagle-eyed FiveThirtyEight readers have pointed out that he didn't always adhere to this rule — they spotted some chimneys in earlier episodes.
To put that in perspective, Dallas only ran for 357 episodes, Murder She Wrote ran for 264, and Grey's Anatomy (which has basically been on forever) has only so far aired 248 episodes.
We feel like we have to say that again: A radio show. About watching (hearing?) a man paint. And Ross himself wasn't even the subject of the show — a Ross-certified instructor would paint a picture while a DJ played the latest hit tunes. In between songs, the DJ would ask inquire how the painter's "happy little trees" were coming along.
Ross loved animals, and was often drawn to creatures that needed help – even an alligator, which his mother once found him tending to in the bathroom of their Florida home.
And he didn't sell any of the ones he made on the show. Instead, many were donated to PBS stations around the country, which would auction them off as fundraisers.
It's hard to believe, but the shows acted more as an advertising vehicle for Ross's line of painting kits and art lessons (his company was worth $15 million in 1991, reported the New York Times). So he did the shows for free — and since he could bang out an entire season in just a couple of days, it didn't cost him much in time spent either.
Many fans would be embarrassed to admit that they'd flip the television to Bob when they wanted to take a little snooze, but the media director for Bob Ross, Inc. once revealed to the New York Times that Ross didn't mind at all.
Sadly, it was lymphoma that took his life. But his fame is still so pervasive that the headquarters of Bob Ross, Inc. (which still sells Bob Ross painting tools), will get phone calls from fans meekly asking about "rumors" that he died, according to the New York Times.
The Joy of Painting still appears on TV in certain markets, but the miracle of the Internet means we'll always only be a few clicks away from good ol' Bob. His company recently uploaded many episodes onto Youtube — even the very first one.